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Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a macro-region in transformation. It is affected by traditional and emerging threats, growing violent extremism and radicalisation, new forms of intra-state violence, structural and climate-related vulnerabilities, social grievances, and migratory pressures. At the same time, the continent is also witnessing fast-paced political, economic, and technological progress, which is profoundly changing its societies and institutions, and triggering a new prominence of African countries in the global arena. 

The relationship between the European Union and Africa is evolving accordingly, going beyond development, humanitarian and security concerns, to include a broader and diversified engagement on migration and mobility, education and skills development, strengthened resilience and governance, inclusive growth and job creation. The EU Global Strategy calls for a change in mindset and a change in policy, seeing the African Union and the EU as privileged and equal partners to shape a fairer, multilateral global order. This new approach will also shape the post-Cotonou agreement and EU support to the Agenda 2063.

The EUISS provides innovative research, analysis and advice to support Africa-related policy planning and implementation. The EUISS uses its convening power to facilitate knowledge sharing, brainstorming, consensus building, dialogues with stakeholders and local partners, to break new ground on matters affecting Africa-EU relations. The Institute looks at instability hotspots, such as the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa, assessing interventions and formulating recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU’s integrated approach. The EUISS also monitors political, economic, security trends in countries at risk of falling or relapsing into conflict, to make the case for prevention when EU action can be impactful. Finally, the EUISS studies the role of new geopolitical actors expanding their influence in Africa, and emerging threats, such as cyber risks triggered by the digital revolution.

African Futures 2030 Task Force

From November 2019 to December 2020, the EUISS ran an African Futures Task Force.

Its main objective was to explore trends affecting the future of Africa in the next ten years, emphasising challenges and opportunities for policymaking. The task force resulted in the publication of the Chaillot Paper "African Futures 2030: free trade, peace and prosperity" on 9 March 2021.

More information on the Task Force

 

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    24November 2016

    The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.

  • 21November 2016

    On 21 November, the EUISS held the first meeting of the ‘African Futures’ project at its Liaison Office in Brussels.

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    29July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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    16June 2016

    Presidential attempts to extend term limits in the Great Lakes region have resuscitated a debate over their impact on security. But beyond these presidential predicaments, questions have been raised over the erosion of democratic accountability across the region.

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    16June 2016

    The restoration of a democratically-elected political authority in the Central African Republic (CAR) three years after the outbreak of its latest conflict episode is a positive breakthrough, but no panacea. Unable to shoulder the burden of conflict on its own, it will require sustained international support for years to come.

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    16June 2016

    Although the comprehensiveness of the EU’s approach to addressing the South Sudanese crisis has set a positive precedent, the costly disbursement of over €414m in crisis-response financing is a stark reminder of the need to re-invest in peace.

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    16June 2016

    A little after the anniversary of President Buhari coming power, this Alert looks at the security situation in Nigeria. Although jihadist group Boko Haram is reeling from a series of setbacks, what other problems are facing Africa’s most populous country?

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    20April 2016

    Countering violent extremism (CVE) is a fledging approach to combatting radicalisation in the Horn of Africa. But in spite of encouraging progress, CVE remains a tall order as programme implementation continues to be regionally fragmented and largely underfunded.

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    18April 2016

    This Report, which focuses on key features of African armed forces, serves as an introductory guide to those interested not only in the military institutions themselves, but also the context in which European CSDP operations in Africa are deployed.

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    01April 2016

    Beyond the exchange of raw materials for manufactured goods, China’s and India’s relations with the African continent are slowly gaining traction, particularly in the security sphere. But upholding relations with heavyweight OECD partners like the EU remains fundamental for Africa’s economic diversification, as well as democratic consolidation.

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    03June 2013

    In the aftermath of two deadly attacks in northern Niger, there are concerns that the country could be beginning the similar descent into chaos that devastated its neighbour. Yet although Niger appears to suffer from some of the same problems as Mali at first glance, this alert seeks to prove that realities on the ground are somewhat different.

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    27May 2013

    The management of the Nile's precious waters has always been a delicate exercise and with no major event disrupting the status quo, the water politics of the river has long remained relatively low-key. Growing pressures on the river, however, may be about to change that situation.

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    22May 2013

    Following a spectacular decline in the Gulf of Aden, incidents of armed robbery at sea and piracy are now on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea. Given the region's importance for the EU, are there lessons that can be learned and usefully transferred from Gulf to Gulf?

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    22May 2013

    On 25 April, the UN Security established MINUSMA to take over from the African-led mission (AFISMA) in Mali. This alert explores the possible impact of ‘robust peacekeeping’ in Mali and draws attention to the current application of an emerging template for inter-institutional cooperation in military crisis management.

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    18February 2013

    Despite Africa’s rainy equatorial zone, long rivers, great lakes and vast shores, water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. Convincing policy responses are required in order to alleviate growing pressure on water resources that could eventually lead to domestic unrest, exacerbate existing inter-state tensions and even constitute a source of armed conflict.

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    30November 2012

    This policy brief looks at the prospects for the proposed EU training mission in Mali and examines what lessons might be learned from the EU’s previous contribution to international peacekeeping efforts in Somalia as well as the exent to which the fragile security situation in Northern Mali has the potential to become another Afghanistan.

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    12July 2012

    As many European governments introduce their biggest defence budget cuts in years, the impact on their collective military capabilities may be lessened by exploiting two directives designed to integrate the EU defence market.

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    27June 2012

    Over the last decade, researchers and policy-makers have paid increasing attention to diasporas. This Occasional Paper explores the untapped potential of African diaspora communities in promoting peace in their homelands and assesses how the European Union can engage with these non-state actors in the field of peace and security.

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    15May 2012

    L’interrogation à laquelle tente de répondre la présente étude est de savoir si l’investissement de l’UE dans la CEEAC en tant qu’acteur de sécurité collective en Afrique centrale se justifie. Le constat, il faut le regretter, n’est pas encourageant. Intervenant sur un milieu il est vrai peu porteur, l’UE ne s’est pas donné les moyens des fins affichées.

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    20December 2011

    Following the elections in the DRC, it is likely that a small circle of ruling elites will tighten their grip on the state. Space for political opposition and civil society will shrink. To prevent this, the trust of the Congolese people in the political process must, at least partly, be restored.

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